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Thyroid Disorders as Causes of Baldness

The hair is considered a barometer of health.  When the body is in crisis, the hair cells shut down, inducing the onset of hair loss and hair thinning in the process.  For this reason, the hair is deemed as nature’s barometer, signaling the state of well being and good health.

The hair can be a signal of an underlying medication condition. For instance, some people experiences losing hair as a symptom of hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, making it one of the many causes of baldness.

The Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland, which is located in the neck, produces thyroid hormones that regulate the body temperature, control how the body uses energy, and help other organs do their functions. The follicle cells secrete thyroid hormones that contain iodine, thyroxine and triiodothyronine; all of which produce protein and improve oxygen supply. Other thyroid hormones like calcitonin and parathyroid help regulate the calcium levels.

Thyroid Hormones and Hair Loss:

Experts believed that thyroid disorders are among the many causes of baldness. In fact, hair loss is considered one of the worst symptoms of a thyroid disorder.

A person with a thyroid disorder experiences excessive hair thinning and loss in extreme quantities accompanied by the degradation of the hair quality. Hair loss doesn’t only occur in the scalp but also affects the rest of the follicles in the body. Hypothyroidism, for example, may affect the eyebrows as well.

Hyperthyroidism (overproduction of thyroid hormones), hypothyroidism (insufficient production of thyroid hormones), thyroid cancer, or benign thyroid disease can affect the body’s metabolism which in turn creates an impact upon other processes in the body like hair growth.

The stressful impact of thyroid problems to the body is also believed to trigger hair loss in a sense that any form of severe stress disturbs the hair growth cycle. Thus, hastening and prolonging the telogen phase—the stage wherein the hair shed off.

In addition, medications used to treat thyroid disorders may also induce the onset of hair loss. Two of the most common medications, levothyroxine and propylthiouracil, are believed to trigger hair loss and thinning hair. Although, the answer as to how these medications affect the hair growth cycle remains unclear.

Bottom Line

Hair loss is considered one of the most frightening and frustrating symptom of a thyroid disorder. That being said, to stop hair loss induced by thyroid disorder, a person with this condition needs to consult a physician to help keep the hormones in check, thereby preventing further hair loss as well keeping the healthy growth of the hair strands.

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